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Calling it Off Three and Four Handed

June 2, 2020
by Pete Clarke

Last time we saw what a difference having a shot at an opponent’s bounty made to our shoving ranges in Grand Tour. Today we learn that the same effect also applies to calling.

Calling as The Short Stack

Calling off your stack when there are multiple opponents remaining and when you’re covered by the all-in player is highly unattractive in Grand Tour. There are two reasons to play tight in this situation.

  1. You cannot win your opponent’s bounty right now. Even if you win the all-in, your wounded opponent might fall prey to someone else in the next few hands.
  2. Calling does not give you fold equity, you have to win at showdown to win.

Due to these two disadvantages, we only want to call hands that are a significant favourite against your opponent’s shoving range.

Let’s start with the common Grand Tour stack depth of 10BB. The blinds are 50/100. The CO goes all in with a stack of 1300 chips. We are in the big blind with 900 chips behind and it folds to us. How do we proceed?

Here is our nitty calling range since we cannot win a bounty:

Imagine the same situation, but this time we face the shove from the BU. The SB covers both us and the BU. The SB fold.

This time we call the following hands:

As we saw in the previous episode of this series, the position of the shoving player is nowhere near as important as the stack coverage. If the BU actually covered both us and the small blind, then he would have been shoving far wider (assuming he knows what is going on). He would be strongly incentivised to gamble in this case and would want to assume the role of the table bully with everything to gain by knocking people out and not as much to lose since he wouldn’t be risking elimination.

If you cover two shorter stacked players, you are in the bully position and should jam very aggressively.

If you face a shove from a player in the bully position, you should anticipate facing a wider range call more aggressively.

In this next example, BU has shoved for 2,100, SB has folded with a stack of 1,300 and we are in the big blind with 900 chips remaining in our stack. Here’s what we call now:

Disclaimer: This calling range assumes that the BU understands the power of his bully position and is shoving with 69% of hands. Many of your Grand Tour opponents will not be capitalising this much on their chip lead and ability to go after bounties. If you think someone is failing to capitalise, then call much tighter than this.

Calling as the Big Stack

When you cover the all-in player, you are much more likely to call it off light. Imagine that BU shoves with a stack of 1000 with the blinds at 50/100. The SB folds and you are in the BB with a stack of 2000.

You should accept a lot of risk now for the sake of hunting the BU’s bounty. If you lose you will still be alive and kicking with a stack of 10BBs. You should call it off with this range:

Note that because BU’s shoving range was tight here, (he had no chance of scooping up a bounty by shoving) we are favouring live cards here like suited gappers to dominated brute force hands like K7o. This is a common theme in Grand Tour.

Call shoves with live cards when you are facing a tight shoving range from a player you cover.

This is the opposite of how we would structure our calling range heads-up where there is no urgency to go hunting our opponent’s bounty. He would be jamming wider there, not deterred by being covered, and we would be calling more big cards in response. This changes dramatically when there are three or four players left three-handed because:

3 or 4 handed, you are racing your opponents to pick up a short-stacked player’s bounty. You must take some risks and willingly get it in as an underdog with live suited hands sometimes.

Going after Multiple Bounties

Finally let’s take a look at how wide we need to calling in the big blind when both the BU and the SB have gone all-in for 10BB and we cover both of them. As you’ve probably guessed by now, we need to call immensely wide in this spot, especially with undominated, suited cards. We like a hand such as 54s a lot in these circumstances as it performs well three-way. Here is the range we call in the BB when going after a double bounty! Let’s not be shy – there’s a lot of bonus money to win:

Most people don’t realise they should be calling it off with 69% of hands at this stack depth when two bounties are up for grabs, but this is the reality.


  • There isn’t much difference between calling CO shoves and calling BU shoves when we’re in the BB.
  • There is huge difference between calling shoves from a bully stack who covers everyone and a short stack who covers only us. We want to call it off much wider vs. the bully stack as long as Villain knows how to play the big stack.
  • When we cover an all-in player, we need to call off very wide and favour low suited cards to K3o and the like.
  • When there are multiple bounties up for grabs, we need to call absurdly wide. Huge edges are possible by getting this part of the game right.


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